If you own a pool in the Twin Cities area, you probably installed some type of winter cover during your swimming pool closing process. While that cover is designed to protect your pool and the safety of your household members, winter weather could end up damaging it and compromising its functionality if you're not careful.

How do you prevent that from happening? Read on to learn when and how to deal with snow accumulation on your pool cover.

How Much Snow Is Too Much?

As long as less than two feet of snow is on your winter pool cover, you shouldn't worry about removing the buildup. A heavy-duty winter pool cover is designed to accommodate that kind of weight, provided the water level in your pool does not decrease.

If your pool's water level does drop, even by a couple of inches, there won't be adequate support for the cover, and without that support, it can tear or fall into the pool. With no support from the water, cover springs and safety cover straps can also fail under the weight of accumulated snow.

To ensure your pool cover has adequate support throughout the winter season, monitor your pool's water level frequently. It should remain three to six inches below the level of the skimmer opening. If the water drops below that level, you'll need to add more water to prevent damage to the cover.

How to Handle a Cover That's Frozen to the Water's Surface

If you have a mesh cover, don't be alarmed if it looks as though it might break under the weight of a bit of snow buildup. And if your cover looks frozen to the water's surface, that's fairly normal, too. When the snow/ice begins to melt, that water will travel through the mesh cover and back into your pool, pushing the cover back up into its normal position.

Whatever you do, don't try to break the cover free with a shovel or accelerate the thawing of the snow or ice on top of the mesh. Intervening could damage the cover and render it useless, so it's in your best interest to let nature take its course.

How to Remove Excessive Snow From Your Pool Cover

Whether you have a mesh pool cover or a solid, automatic pool cover, you shouldn't allow more than two feet of snow/ice to accumulate on its surface, or it may incur damage. So, how do you get rid of that snow buildup? Here are a few different ways you can safely remove snow and ice from the surface of your pool cover:

If Your Cover has Between Two and Three Feet of Buildup

Worry about removing snow accumulation around the edges of your pool first. Removing that accumulation will facilitate efficient water drainage into the pool when the buildup on top of the cover melts. If you want, you can use a broom to remove a small amount of the buildup around the edges of the cover, too.

More than Three Feet of Snow Buildup

Use a push broom with soft bristles to gently pull snow off the top of the cover. You can also try using a plastic snow shovel if the snow is very dense or hardened, as a broom may not get the job done efficiently.

Apply Pool Salt on Top of the Snow

Pool salt will accelerate the melting process. If you have a solid cover, you'll need a cover pump for this method to work, as the pump will need to remove the water once the salt has melted some of the snow accumulation.

Use a Leaf Blower

A leaf blower can be the perfect solution if a push broom is too challenging. While it's not ideal for heavy compact snow, if you're only dealing with a light coating, the blower can easily get the job done. Clear the pool's edges, then use the blower to remove what is left in the middle unless it's too dense and heavy.

Apply a Waterproof Heat Cable

If we get a notoriously strong Minnesota snowfall and a couple of feet have dumped onto the cover, one way to speed up the melting process is using a heated cable.

The biggest thing you want to be aware of is using a low-powered one, and don't turn the heat on too high because this can result in a burn or hole in your cover. Use a low and consistent temperature that will gradually melt the snow, and you can use a submersible pump to remove any excess water buildup.

In addition to removing snow from your pool cover, you'll want to monitor snow and ice as they begin to melt on warmer days. If you have a solid cover, any snow/ice that melts during the day will easily re-freeze during the night, and as it freezes, it can tear your cover, especially if it's old.

Whenever you notice snowmelt puddling, turn your cover pump on as soon as possible to get the water off the cover's surface before it has a chance to re-freeze. 

Royal Pool & Spa: Your Twin Cities Swimming Pool Maintenance Experts

Need help with your swimming pool maintenance this winter season? Get in touch with our team at Royal Pool & Spa in White Bear Lake, MN, for all your pool care needs. We're available by phone or email for questions, pool build quotes, and scheduling swimming pool chemical pickup at our store.

If you're having any issues with your winter pool cover or anything else, don't hesitate to contact us for advice! Give us a call at 651-779-7606 or send us a message, and we'll get in touch.